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Reading thread - Page 28

post #406 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by robinsongreen68 View Post

a dystopian sci fi-esque premise as narrated by thomas bernhard with a few odd recurring tropes: a kind of aleatory dread, gender/power shifts and an obsession with the harmful effects of language. I hadn't come across that particular mix before...


Oh, nice. Yeah, that's a pretty genius description of the book. I'm definitely curious to hear your thoughts on the new one (ones?) ... and should probably just grab it myself. It will definitely be interesting to see where be takes things. It is my guess that in that particular mode he said all he needed to say with his first novel (and the first collection, a spiritual tie-in) and my hope that he might become one of those writers like Lydia Millet or, I dunno, TC Boyle, sort of?, who continue to grow and experiment and concoct something wholly new each time out.

Please don't take my opinion as representative of much of anything, though. shog[1].gif

But -- if you'd like a tiny bit more context for Notable American Women, you might check out Mathew Derby, and his collection Super Flat Times, if you haven't. My recollection is that it's very Marcus-seque. It was workshopped with Ben Marcus while they both studied under Robert Coover, at Brown. It has more than a bit of that same feel, that same anemic dystopia (well, similar anyway) -- and the two at least appear to have influenced each other, early on.

Man, i wish I lived in a city that publicized books. laugh.gif
post #407 of 797

Any Douglas Coupland fans here? I think his later stuff gets a bit too self-parodying these days, but his older stuff was perhaps some of the best writing on modern disaffected twentysomething life ever. Shampoo Planet is one of my all-time favorites.

post #408 of 797
just added this to my to-read list:

post #409 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan138zig View Post

^ I think what's been putting me off from pale fire is that I still haven't found a way to appreciate poetry. they just sound... disjointed to me.

A lot of Nabokov's writing isn't about the writing at all, but intertextual work. "How art itself works." Subjective narration, analysis, the structure of stories, self-narration, etc. I look at a lot of his work like a puzzle – he litters in anagrams and really recondite allusions, so it seems like an inviting challenge.

Everyone has a different experience, but I certainly don't enjoy Nabokov for the beauty of the writing itself.
post #410 of 797
My only experience with Nabokov is Lolita. I hated it.
post #411 of 797
has anyone else read the monarchies of god. my favorite fantasy series. nobody ever talks about it though frown.gif((
post #412 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan138zig View Post

My only experience with Nabokov is Lolita. I hated it.

What did you hate about it?
post #413 of 797
I don't really remember, but it has something to do with the glorification of underage sexuality. I felt disgusted. And I'm not a goody two shoes either, I love Tropic of Cancer for example.
post #414 of 797
I mean... the novel is narrated by a pedophile. Wouldn't you expect that? Non-sympathetic narrators are interesting, and I think the "uncomfortable-ness" of the book is part of the point.
post #415 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan138zig View Post

I don't really remember, but it has something to do with the glorification of underage sexuality. I felt disgusted. And I'm not a goody two shoes either, I love Tropic of Cancer for example.

The novel involved underage sexuality, but I certainly don't think that it glorified it. Quite the contrary, in fact. As fireflygrave points out, Humbert Humbert is a very unsympathetic protagonist and Nabokov was quoted as having referred to his literary creation as "a wretch".
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflygrave View Post

I mean... the novel is narrated by a pedophile. Wouldn't you expect that? Non-sympathetic narrators are interesting, and I think the "uncomfortable-ness" of the book is part of the point.

At the risk of sounding pedantic, the narrator is technically a "hebephile", someone who is attracted to young teenagers instead of younger children.
post #416 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan138zig View Post

My only experience with Nabokov is Lolita. I hated it.

Wait, did Iroh get banned? Is this guy Iroh? This feels oddly familiar...

I remember awhile back, Iroh sent me a few PMs exactly like this, expressing bland contempt for near-objective works of genius, asking me, repeatedly, if David Foster Wallace ever wrote anything shorter, and could I please locate and produce such a work. Took me a minute to realize I was getting trolled. laugh.gif
post #417 of 797

Girlfriend gave me Tenth of December, by George Saunders. It's fantastic. Collection of short stories that are, for once, best consumed individually rather than en masse, and they hit hard. 

post #418 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by DividedWay View Post

Girlfriend gave me Tenth of December, by George Saunders. It's fantastic. Collection of short stories that are, for once, best consumed individually rather than en masse, and they hit hard. 

I liked it a lot but too many I the stories were total bummers
post #419 of 797

The Difference Engine co-written by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Entertaining, but the story is all over the place, which may be the whole point of it. How two people get together and write a book, I'll never know. I have a hard enough time cooking a meal with someone else.

 

Just picked up Revelation Space, Absolution Gap, and Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds. Epic space opera, which is new to me.

post #420 of 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicNovelty View Post


I liked it a lot but too many I the stories were total bummers

It's weird, but I somehow always feel better having finished a story that ends this way than a happy/ success story. Feels more complete to me. Recently read Hemmingway gave me the same feeling. 

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